Depending on the mood of the majority of the Spokane Valley City Council next Tuesday, a proposal to form a TBD could end up strictly DIY.
The Spokane City Council had recently considered going forward with its own TBD and levying a $20 tab fee for its own projects, but the majority of the council said it wanted the issue to go before voters. A $20-or-smaller fee could be approved without a vote of the people, however the question will not appear on the November
On Sept. 7, the council is expected to consider a motion whether or not to send a letter to Spokane County for support of the formation of a regionwide transportation benefit district. In a TBD, car tab fees could be collected for regional road projects with a portion of that amount – tentatively set at 70 percent – going for local roadwork.
But at the Aug. 24 meeting, there were some strong opinions expressed that it may be better for the city to create its own TBD rather than head down the regional road.
“I think as we join these regional concepts we lose our identity and our authority,” said Council Member Bob McCaslin. “I want my independence.”
Council Member Bill Gothmann said the city would be better off joining a regional TBD as more money would be raised. It would be up voters to approve a car tab fee, most likely around $40 to raise the necessary funding for all the participants.
“There are a number of regional projects going on,” Gothmann said, citing the Havana Bridge project as an example. “The ultimate arbitrator is the public.”
Mayor Tom Towey said that a final interlocal agreement has yet to be approved. He reminded the council that the letter would merely be the city giving the county’s blessing to move forward with crafting language for a pact among the various affected county jurisdictions that will be agreed upon later.
Council Member Gary Schimmels said that, whatever the council ultimately decides, the city “owes the county an answer.”